Five wins in a row and now tied for second place in the Frontier Conference. The result of yet another big win for the MSU-Northern Lights Saturday afternoon. The Lights shot 54.5% from the field and 45.8% from behind the arc, both percentages setting them up for a 90-68 win over the University of Providence Argos, a team that had previously won the last two games when the Lights traveled to Great Falls.
At the Beginning of the game, it was a back-and-forth dual, just like Thursday, with Immanuel Anderson getting the opening tip straight to his right hand and scoring within the first 3 seconds of the game. The Argos would then score on their first possession by way of a Sam Vining three. After trading a couple baskets, MSUN would take a seven-point lead with 6:03 left in the first-half, and that’s as close the Argos would get for the remainder of the game. The Lights would take a 16-point lead into half-time. Dae’Kwon Watson, again, was masterful from the tree-point line hitting two in the first-half, finishing the half out with 10 points. CJ Nelson also hit two threes of his own and finished with 10 after the first 20 minutes.
In the second-half, the Lights defense came alive. They forced seven turnovers, including four steals, three of which came from the hands of Zackry Martinez. Martinez extended his steal streak to 10 games, eight of which have resulted in two or more, four have been three or more. Four Lights finished the night in double figures (Keltner, 16; Watson, 15; Nelson, 15; Martinez, 14). Jesse Keltner was three assists shy of a triple-double and added another three blocks to his name (second straight game with three). It was smooth sailing for the last five minutes of the game and for the second straight game, we saw the likes of RJ Ramone, Rogan Barnwell, Oskar Pula, Bryce Graham and TJ Reynolds. The ladder, and Ramone, both seeing their three-point shots fall through the cylinder.
The Lights now turn their attention to two opponents that have been tough this year, Rocky Mountain College and Montana Western. They have split the season series with them both. Both games against Rocky Mountain have been decided in overtime. The first game at the Armory Gym, when Rocky walked away with the 62-60 victory and the match in Billings that took three overtimes to decide. Montana Western, who snapped their six-game losing streak Saturday against Carroll, defeated MSUN the first time 73-65, but then lost the second matchup 70-58, both game at the Armory.
With three games left, MSUN can have a firm hand on their destiny going forward. They play two winnable games before their Senior Day showdown with Montana Tech. Providence on the other hand has two tough opponents left on their schedule; Montana Tech for their Senior Day and then Carroll in Helena. Anything Can still happen in the last week-and-a-half of Frontier play, but it will be nice to see if the Lights can still keep their spark from dimming.
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